The archaeology of Menorca, a strong candidate to World Heritage status
Menorca has over 1,500 archaeological sites. Discover which ones to visit
Menorca is a true open-air archeological museum with an exceptional heritage. In this article we explain what the “Talayotic Menorca” consists of, what are its characteristics and where you can find the main sites. Do not miss it!
|CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF MENORCA|
|ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN MENORCA|
Menorca is a true open-air archaeological museum with an exceptional heritage that receives increasingly more visits from culture lovers.
|The importance of the archaeology of Menorca has been highlighted by the candidacy of "Talayotic Menorca" presented to UNESCO, a selection of representative sites on the island to be considered for inclusion on the World Heritage list. They are sites of enormous historical value, both for their construction technique and uniqueness. Furthermore, these constructions are the only remains of the archaic Mediterranean society that resided on the island.|
The name of the candidacy, "Talayotic Menorca" comes from one of the most characteristic monuments of the island's prehistory: the tower or talayot. This is the most abundant type of construction in Menorca, with over 300 versions, and researchers are still debating its function.
The sites cover a broad chronological period, from human settlement around 2500-2100 BC to the Roman conquest in the first century BC. Over two thousand years of history during which different periods took place.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF MENORCA
|Talayotic constructions were built with a cyclopean technique, which uses large stones placed dry, without mortar.|
The majority of the monuments preserve most of their structure, and research carried out has enabled the identification of up to fifteen types of constructions with different functions, including megalithic tombs, hypogea, natural caves with walls, wells, talayots and rooms with slab roofs, as well as the well-known navetas and talayots that are exclusive to Menorca.
For the nomination, a series that synthesizes the island’s prehistory has been selected from among the more than 1,500 sites. These are constructions that stand out for their monumentality, good condition, the scientific research carried out on them and their contribution to furthering knowledge about the society of the period, characterized by their cohesion, management strategies and control of resources.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN MENORCA
Naveta des TudonsOne of the selected monuments is the Naveta des Tudons, located near Ciutadella. It is a type of funeral naveta in perfect condition, in the shape of an inverted ship, where collective burials were made. During the excavations, up to a hundred individuals were found, accompanied by grave goods and small pots where offerings were deposited during funeral rites. You can find its exact location here.
Es Castellet de CalescovesAnother important site included in the candidacy is the impressive necropolis of Es Castellet de Calescoves, in the south of the island, an enclave occupied from prehistory to Roman times. It preserves a talayotic necropolis, among other findings, with over ninety burial caves and hypogea dug into the cliffs, a jetty and a Roman sanctuary. You can see its location at the following link. You cannot miss this!
Torralba d’En SalortAlso part of the selection is the spectacular talayotic village of Torralba d'En Salort, between the towns of Alaior and Mao. It is one of the largest in Menorca and experienced its maximum splendour during the Punic commercial expansion, remaining in use until the Middle Ages. Of particular interest are the two talayots, the taula enclosure, a hypostyle hall, caves dug into the subsoil and the remains of dwellings. If you want to know where it is, click on the following link.
Torre d’En GalmésAnother of the largest talayotic towns in the Balearic Islands is the Torre d’en Galmés, located on the south coast of Menorca, 5 km from the town of Alaior. It is not possible to get there by public transport and we recommend you check the opening times in order to organize your visit and not miss anything. You can find its exact location here.
Son CatlarWould you like to visit a true cyclopean wall? The Son Catlar talayotic village is the ideal place to do so, since you can find a series of large irregular stone blocks that make up the wall there. It is located 7.5 km south of Ciutadella. Here is its location.
Cala MorellThe necropolis of Cala Morell is another one of the archaeological sites that you can find in Menorca. A group of fourteen caves, which have interior columns, windows and apses, among other elements. They are located 14 km north of Ciutadella. See their location here.
Talatí de DaltThe Talatí de Dalt talayotic village is located 4 km from Mahon. It stands out for its peculiar taula that remains in good condition. It cannot be reached by public transport. Here is its location, as well as information on prices and opening times so you can make the most of your visit.
Talayot de TorellóThe Torelló Talayot, is one of the largest you can find in Menorca. It is located near Mahon and has a very well preserved lintel portal. Here is its location to help you during your visit.
Talayot TorretrencadaThe Torretrencada Talayot conserves the only standing taula in all Ciutadella, and its remains can still be seen. It is located 6 km from Ciutadella, exactly here. Although it is not accessible by public transport, it is a very charming visit and well worthwhile.
Yacimiento arqueológico Taula and talayote de TrepucóThis is one of the largest prehistoric villages in the Balearic Islands, covering an area of more than 5 hectares. It currently conserves the sanctuary of taula and the great central tayalot. This site has been declared a national historical monument. You can find it at the following location.
These are the main archaeological sites in Menorca, but do not forget that the island has an extensive list of world heritage sites defined by UNESCO. If you would like further information, we recommend you continue browsing the sites on our website so that you can organize your next visit to Menorca and make the most of every minute.
To know more
Aisle Es Tudons (Ciutadella, menorca)
The most emblematic funerary monument from the prehistory of Minorca
Archaeological Site Torralba d'en Salort (Alaior, menorca)
The village with the best-conserved taula on Minorca
Archaeological Site Taula i Talaiot de Trepucó (Maó, menorca)
The "prehistoric capital" of the eastern side of the island
Archaeological Site Poblat de la Torre d'en Galmés (Alaior, menorca)
One of the finest examples of talayotic villages on Minorca and the second-largest in size
Talaiot Talatí de Dalt (Maó, menorca)
An archaeological site that conserves intact the monumental central "T"
Necrópolis Cala Morell (Ciutadella, menorca)
One of the prettiest necropolises of Minorca on the north coast
Talaiot Torre Trencada (Ciutadella, menorca)
The only taula that is still standing in the city of Ciutadella